Access to safe water is fundamental to the development of a country and the livelihood of its citizens, so much so that in 2010 access to clean drinking water was declared a human right by the United Nations. As an organisation that operates within areas where water supply is threatened by natural disasters and socio-economic issues, we recognise how access to safe drinking water contributes to the quality of life in the communities around us. The April 2022 KZN floods called on us to actively take part in providing solutions for the water crisis that ensued. 

Nelson Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July – Mandela’s birthday. South Africans, including corporates, are called to devote 67 minutes of their time helping others to represent the 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity. 

While eThekwini has made significant strides to address the challenge of access following the April 2022 floods in KZN, additional water infrastructure is still required to accommodate those communities that are still not getting tap water in their homes. 

As part of our Mandela Day initiatives, Tongaat Hulett invested R155 000 towards the purchasing of 15 Jojo tanks with the capacity to store 5000 L of water each. These Jojo tanks will support approximately 80 000 community members including Tongaat Hulett employees who reside in Wards 58, 61 and 62. These wards are still reliant on water tankers as their daily source of water.  

The 20th of July 2022, was the handover day and marked the 100th day since the targeted communities have had no consistent supply of water. The process started with Tongaat Hulett management engaging the local Ward Councillors to understand the extent of need in the communities and to ensure that there was alignment in the selection process. Areas, where the Jojo tanks would be located, were evaluated to ensure that they provided easy access to all community members. The affected community members were also engaged to ensure ownership of the support measures.

Our contribution to Nelson Mandela Day this year was one of Tongaat Hulett’s most notable initiatives. The day was commemorated in partnership with various traditional leadership structures and communities where we operate.

We are proud to have reached our objective of supporting health and welfare initiatives and working with vulnerable groups and communities.